For Those Who Are Struggling
Today I am veering from my normal article, and instead, writing an open letter. I made the decision after struggling with a lot of anxiety surrounding the topic I was going to write about– COVID-19. My intent was to give a positive voice to an uneasy topic, but instead, I ended up in a panic. After calling my mommy and crying on her shoulder, I felt writing an open letter about my feelings and fear surrounding this pandemic would be more beneficial not just to me, but for others who are feeling the same way.
So why today did anxiety get the better of me? While California had just ordered a stay at home order, this doesn’t affect me as much as others. Being visually impaired, I don’t get out much anyway, so I don’t think that is the real reason. It could have something to do with the fact that both my husband and I have underlying health conditions that put us at greater risk, so may this is part of it. I think the real issue is I am watching and reading the news way too much.
We know media has a way of inciting panic. Yes, COVID-19 is serious, especially for those who are at greater risk, but just about every news story is focused on it, so it makes it hard to tune it out. This is such an unknown virus, and many of us find ourselves glued to the television or our devices to hear the latest updates that it is instilling much more fear in us than we need to have. The hoarding that’s going on is a perfect example of this.
Logically I know that the odds of actually testing positive for the virus are low, and the fact that I am home a lot also lessens my chance. Spiritually, my Faith helps to keep me centered and focused. I know that being able to trust in God gives me peace of mind. The problem is those pesky little voices that fill my head from watching or reading too many news reports. I also know that stress, anxiety, and depression can lower your immune system which is something none of us need right now.
I think talking about it is important because there is a lot of fear and uncertainty, so being able to be honest about how we are feeling is important to all of us. Being able to talk and share our feelings and concerns is much healthier than letting our thoughts get the better of us and inciting panic. What happened to me this morning is a perfect example.
Rather than wasting time fearing the worst or stressing about social distancing, it’s important that we all use this time to be more positive. I know this may not be easy, especially with people out of work and children home from school. Financial strain is on the minds of so many of us right now. Two of my children’s jobs have been closed. Another one of my children is a health care worker, so the stress of her well being is on my mind as well
To keep myself from going to the dark side and stressing out, I have not only decided to think positively but to do positive activities as well. I also want to start conversations about feelings and fears. Not only will it help alleviate stress, but it will help others to feel more comfortable about opening up about what they are feeling. There are so many things we can do to help lift our moods. We can help an elderly family member or neighbor. This time will allow those with children to spend more quality time with them and starting up an old hobby can relieve stress as well. The possibilities are endless.
The point is to keep our minds and bodies doing productive things that allow us to get through this pandemic. Make some good come from a crappy situation.